What A Mirror Shows

October 6, 2017
By fall-not-fall BRONZE, Elk Grove, California
fall-not-fall BRONZE, Elk Grove, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Before you stands a mirror. It’s not very tall, nor very wide. It’s average. Nothing special. The only thing you can see within it is your true form, nothing else. For that is what a mirror does. It only showed you only the real image of yourself, no matter how much you wished that the mirror would ripple and change. But it simply didn’t. It wouldn’t. It never did. No matter how much you hated what the mirror showed, it never disappeared, never went away. The mirror never reflected what you really wanted to see staring back at you. It only showed the truth, and the truth is always hard. So you stand there… simply staring. You critique the stretch marks, try to flatten your stomach, push at your skin pretending you had muscles, you stretch and widen your eyes, you cover your smile, and try to force your body to become clay at your fingertips, easy to shape and mold and become the art you that had always wished it would. But it won’t. You couldn’t force it to. Your fingers just weren’t enough. They never were. The image in the mirror won’t simply change because of the force of your palms, no matter how much, how often, or how hard you would try. So you stand there, and you turn over and over and over and over, enough to make anyone dizzy just by looking at you. Every part of you, you critique. Nothing escapes your eyes. Every turn reveals something new, every turn reveals another part of you that you wished had stayed hidden, for it just adds another piece to the list of the things you hate about the mirror image. You critique the mirror that doesn’t show what you want it to. And you critique the image that isn’t the one that you want to see. You let your eyes roam your body and you wish with every part of you that the image the mirror showed would change. You wish it would go away. But it doesn’t… it won’t. So you dress quickly keeping your eyes away from the mirror and walk on and out of that room. The room with the mirror. And the day goes on like it usually does, nothing ever changing, the same routine day by day. Occasionally you catch your reflection in a mirror, a window, a metal surface. Multiple times throughout that day, you see that image and you can’t help but stare. Is this what people have to see and look at every day? Is this what people have to talk to, have to understand? Your friends tell you that you are beautiful, but you never believe them. How could you, when you saw what the mirror would show. How was that beautiful? It wasn’t. So they must be lying to you. What other explanation was there? You see your friend with the perfect hair, you watch your friend with the perfect smile. You envy them, you are jealous of them, but you are not angry at them for they have done nothing wrong. You pray to God, someone who you don’t believe in, ‘ God please change me. Let me be someone else, something else. Let me wake up tomorrow someone better, someone prettier, someone with a small waist, straight teeth, nice hair, stunning eyes, skinnier thighs, clear skin. Let me wake up tomorrow looking like them, the pretty ones. Let me wake up tomorrow someone beautiful.’ But God doesn’t change you. Not that you really thought that he would, but you couldn’t help but hope for a miracle. A miracle that would allow you to become someone else, someone who didn’t look like you, someone even remotely close to beautiful. But you don’t. You wake up, your head on the same shoulders, on the same body, standing on the same legs, the same person. The mirror shows you that nothing has changed. The image it shows still remains the same. Everyday you wake up the same, your reflection never changing. You still see the same person staring back at you. They have the same stretch marks, the same stomach, the same arms, the same thighs, the same eyes, the same smile, the same everything. You ask the mirror, “Do they really like this? Do they really like me?” For who could ever love you, when you don’t even love yourself.

The author's comments:

This piece is meant to criticize the image society forces on young girls. When I was younger, I used to hate what I looked like and this piece reflects how I felt. I wrote this to try and bring awareness to what its like to be a girl and to hate yourself for something that you can't control.

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